12 May 2010


Jacques-Henri Lartigue, photographer and painter, began taking photos when he was just about 7 or 8 years of age. The photograph (above) of his older brother  would have been one of his very first. His father, who must have been a very cool guy, gave his son a 13 x 18 box on a wooden tripod. Before that he had invented for himself an "eye trap" (piège d'oeil) which consisted in opening and shutting his eyes rapidly three times in succession. In this way he had the impression of catching all what was going on; the images, the sounds, the colors. All of it in a small sequence of eye movements. 
"And since that moment I was happy and soothed because I felt that I had captured and treasured up in my head the essential pictures of the best moments of my day.
But when after a few days I said to myself: 'Now, look lets look back at all the pictures only to discover that nothing was left of them, or very little."
"Papa is like God (as a matter of fact, he might even be God in disguise). He's just told me, Now I'm going to give you your own camera.' Now I will be able to make portraits of everything...... everything...."
Sounds like an artist already. I am just looking again at a lovely small book with his photographs which has followed me everywhere for the past 35 years. He amazes.
When asked whether he thought photography could be labeled art, he replied,
"That is ridiculous  and vain. Everything is art; nothing is art. A cook, a shoemaker, a hairdresser are all artists according to how talented they are."

1 comment:

  1. Nice quote from Lartigues. I'm very much in sympathy with that. And I love your little three liners.